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DEPARDIEU

Depardieu reports driver to police after fracas

French actor Gérard Depardieu has filed a complaint against a car driver whom he allegedly punched in the face during a Paris traffic altercation, his spokesman said Monday.

Depardieu reports driver to police after fracas
Photo: Thore Siebrands

The action comes after the driver accused Depardieu of punching him in an incident on August 12, when he swerved into the path of the actor's scooter in

the capital's chic left-bank quarter.

Depardieu was interviewed by police following the driver's complaint, but during the session, the actor told police that he wanted to file a counter-complaint against the driver.

The actor has acknowledged hitting the driver, but argued the motorist was at fault and made him afraid of being knocked off his scooter, a police source said.

"It was more a case of fear than anything else," Depardieu told RTL radio last week. "My reaction was a bit over the top but I was very, very scared. That's it. Full stop. That's all there is to it. It was as stupid as that."

He added that people sometimes file complaints against him because of his fame.

"It's the price of celebrity, as the idiots would say," he said.

Depardieu, 63, is one of France's best known actors but has cut an increasingly troubled figure in recent years, regularly seeming to be under the influence of alcohol on his public appearances.

In 2005, he headbutted a photographer taking pictures of him in the Italian city of Florence, and last year he generated global headlines after urinating
in a bottle during a Paris-Dublin flight after being denied access to the toilets because the plane was taking off.

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GERARD DEPARDIEU

France’s Gérard Depardieu lashes out at George Clooney

Maverick French actor Gérard Depardieu Friday took aim at the Oscars, "The Revenant" and George Clooney, criticising Hollywood for its "comfort" bubble.

France's Gérard Depardieu lashes out at George Clooney
Depardieu and Clooney. Photos: AFP
He rejected the pomp surrounding US cinema, saying he preferred to get into the gritty side of movies.
   
“When I think about the Oscars, with 'The Revenant', the caravans, the warmth and all of that. We tell them: go roll in shit. I am sure that shit is fragrant,” he said at a press conference during the Berlin film festival, referring to the movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio.
   
“That's the fabulous comfort of cinema. I like things that are not comfortable, even if I scream all the time. I'm shouting all the time over a film. I start by saying 'no, nein'. And then I make it. That's how it is, that's life.”
   
Depardieu, 67, also took a dig at Clooney over his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when the Hollywood star offered to lend a hand solving Europe's refugee crisis.
   
“We see these Syrian refugees, and George Clooney went to see Madame Merkel. I think that didn't go well. Today, we want to be an actor, a politician, an ecologist,” he mocked.
   
Depardieu is no stranger to controversy, and has even sparked an outcry in his native France for taking Russian nationality after befriending President Vladimir Putin.
   
The actor, who was presenting his new film “Saint-Amour” in Berlin, reiterated that he has “a lot of admiration for Vladimir Putin, for what he has done, and for the Russian people”.
   
He acknowledged that his pro-Russian stance displeases his “some French intellectuals, including my friends”.
   
But he said: “I believe what I see.”
   
The Berlin film festival ends on Sunday.
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